“It is good for us to remember that this stone was rolled away from the entrance, not to permit Christ to come out but to enable the disciples to go in!” (Peter Marshall)
“A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act” (Mahatma Gandhi).
“God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you'” (Billy Graham).
“But with Christ, we have access in a one-to-one relationship, for, as in the Old Testament, it was more one of worship and awe, a vertical relationship. The New Testament, on the other hand, we look across at a Jesus who looks familiar, horizontal. The combination is what makes the Cross” (Bono).
For me, Easter is a bit harder to prepare for than Christmas. You don’t have nearly the commercialism of the season constantly reminding you that the day is coming. Also, Easter isn’t on a fixed day every year like Christmas.
Most of all, Easter isn’t quite the feel-good story that Christmas is. You don’t have the cute little infant being cradled by loving Mary as a doting Joseph watches on. You have the gory spectacle of the cross and the death of an innocent Man to deal with.
But you need both, I think. You can’t have the Greatest Story Ever Told without both the virgin birth and the death and resurrection. If Jesus wasn’t born of a virgin Mary, then He’s not qualified to die for anyone’s sins but His own. If He isn’t raised from the dead, then we are still stuck in our sins and just as hopeless as before.
So I love both seasons. More than that, I love how Advent comes before Christmas and Lent comes before Easter, giving us time to prepare our hearts and minds for what it all means.
This year, Easter means that no life is wasted. It means that every life matters and every single person ever born matters to God. It means that your and my identity doesn’t come from honor rolls or bank accounts or resumes, but from Calvary. At the core, who I am is the Beloved of God, who proved that He thought I was worth dying for on that cross.
Oh, in case you’re wondering, there are only 263 days left until Christmas.